Luxottica 1Q06 operating income rises by 40.3%, twice the growth in sales
Milan, Italy – April 27, 2006 - Luxottica Group S.p.A. (NYSE: LUX; MTA: LUX), a global leader in eyewear, today announced consolidated U.S. GAAP results for the first quarter of 2006 and the proposed cash dividend payment for fiscal year 2005.
Financial highlights for the first quarter of 20061
- Consolidated sales: €1,262.0 million (+21.7%; +14.2% at constant exchange rates)
- Retail sales: €890.9 million (+17.7%); retail comparable store sales2: +8.3%
- Total wholesale sales: €455.6 million (+39.4%; +34.6% at constant exchange rates)
- Consolidated operating income: €191.5 million (+40.3%); operating margin: 15.2%
- Retail operating income: €112.1 million (+46.6%); retail operating margin: 12.6%
- Wholesale operating income: €118.4 million (+52.3%); wholesale operating margin: 26.0%
- Consolidated net income: €103.2 million (+35.3%); net margin: 8.2%
- Earnings per share: €0.23 (U.S.$0.27 per ADS)
Other news highlights
- Board recommends the appointment of two new independent directors, bringing the total to six out of 14
Andrea Guerra, chief executive officer of Luxottica Group, commented: “Our strong results for the first quarter represent a particularly encouraging beginning for 2006. Sales were up significantly in both wholesale and retail, by 39.4 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, reflecting continued strength in our wholesale business and strong execution on our retail strategy - both in North America and Asia-Pacific. I am especially pleased with the significant improvement in profitability for the quarter, reflected in a year-over-year 200 basis points rise in consolidated operating margin.”
“Results of our wholesale division were extremely positive, with strong sales performance in all the markets where we operate. Fashion and luxury brands across our entire brand portfolio - especially Prada, Bvlgari and Chanel in addition to the recently launched Dolce & Gabbana collections – enjoyed strong demand. Ray-Ban had another strong quarter, after the spectacular growth experienced in 2005 and three consecutive years of 20 percent growth. Operating margin for the entire wholesale division for the quarter improved to 26.0 percent, up year-over-year by 220 basis points.”
This was another strong quarter for the Group’s retail operations, with operating income rising significantly above the improvement in sales. In North America, overall performance across the entire division was above that of the premium retail sector in that market. Both LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut posted double-digit comparable sales growth – the fourth such quarter in a row for Sunglass Hut – while Pearle Vision enjoyed a second consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales, while profitability for the quarter more than doubled. In Asia-Pacific, results were strong within the Group’s optical business both in terms of sales and profitability following the repositioning of the OPSM brand and strong demand for Luxottica fashion brands. On the profitability front, the overall strong performance resulted in an improvement of 250 basis points in operating margin for the entire retail division to 12.6 percent.
Results for the quarter reflected the impact of non-cash expenses for stock options3 of €11 million, compared with no impact for the first quarter of 2005. For the full year, the Group expects a total impact of approximately €25 million.
Luxottica Group’s net debt position on March 31, 2006, was €1,457.4 million, up from €1,435.2 million on December 31, 2005, as a result of the impact on working capital levels in conjunction with the strong rise in sales over the period.
Luxottica Group’s consolidated U.S. GAAP results for the first quarter of 2006 were approved today by its Board of Directors.
Proposed dividend for fiscal year 2005 and other Board resolutions
The Board of Directors today also scheduled the Company’s Ordinary and Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meetings for June 14, 2006, on first call, and for June 15, 2006, on second call.
At the Ordinary Meeting, the Board of Directors has approved Luxottica Group’s International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial statements for fiscal year 20054 and will propose to shareholders a 26 percent increase in the cash dividend to be paid for fiscal year 2005 to €0.29 per ordinary share and per American Depositary Share (ADS) (one ADS represents one ordinary share). For fiscal year 2004, shareholders approved the payment of a cash dividend of €0.23 per ordinary shares and ADS.
The proposed cash dividend will be paid to holders of record of ordinary shares as of June 16, and to holders of record of ADRs as of June 21. The ex-dividend date for both holders of ordinary shares and ADRs will be June 19, 2006. Luxottica Group will make the dividend payable in Euro to holders of ordinary shares on June 22, 2006. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, the depositary of Luxottica Group’s ordinary shares represented by ADRs, will make the dividend payable in U.S. Dollars to ADR holders on June 29, 2006, at the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate of June 22, 2006. Information regarding the tax regime applicable to the payment of Luxottica Group dividends will shortly be available from the Group’s corporate website at www.luxottica.com.
At the Meeting, the Board of Directors will submit to shareholders for approval the increase of the maximum number of directors to 15, from the current 12 to allow for the appointment of Claudio Costamagna, formerly chairman of the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Roger Abravanel, director of the Italian practice of consulting firm McKinsey & Co., increasing the number of independent directors of the Board to 6.
At the Ordinary Meeting, the Board of Directors will submit to shareholders for approval, in accordance with Italian law, the Group’s IFRS statutory financial statements for fiscal year 2005. Luxottica Group's communications to the financial community are and will continue to be made in accordance with US GAAP. Luxottica Group consolidated U.S. GAAP results for fiscal year 2005 were announced on January 31, 2006.
About Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a global leader in eyewear, with nearly 5,500 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China and Europe and a strong brand portfolio that includes Ray- Ban, the best selling sun and prescription eyewear brand in the world, as well as, among others, license brands Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Prada, Versace and Polo Ralph Lauren, from January 2007, and key house brands Vogue, Persol, Arnette and REVO. In addition to a global wholesale network that touches 120 countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Asia-Pacific, and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group’s products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based high-quality manufacturing plants and in the only China-based plant wholly-owned by a premium eyewear manufacturer. For fiscal year 2005, Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX; MTA: LUX) posted consolidated net sales of €4.4 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those which are anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in exchange rates, economic and weather factors affecting consumer spending, the ability to successfully introduce and market new products, the availability of correction alternatives to prescription eyeglasses, the ability to successfully launch initiatives to increase sales and reduce costs, the ability to effectively integrate recently acquired businesses, including Cole National, risks that expected synergies from the acquisition of Cole National will not be realized as planned and that the combination of Luxottica Group’s managed vision care business with Cole National will not be as successful as planned, the impact of the application of APB 25 (Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees) and, as of January 1, 2006, the adoption of SFAS 123 (R) as well as other political, economic and technological factors and other risks referred to in Luxottica Group’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These forwardlooking statements are made as of the date hereof and, under U.S. securities regulation, Luxottica Group does not assume any obligation to update them.
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